Recorded in the City of London in 2012, this album features the missing cantatas from the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage: the Ascension Cantatas.
They were recorded live at St Giles Cripplegate (one of our original Pilgrimage venues) in two concerts entirely funded by the generosity of hundreds of donors across the world, following a heartfelt appeal from british comedian Alexander Armstrong
The quartet of soloists include one of the original Pilgrimage soloists, bass Dietrich Henschel
, alongside a new generation of Bach interpreters who have worked with the ensembles since 2000 making this recording a "bridge" between a Bach tradition started 13 years ago and today.
The Ascension Oratorio Lobet Got in seinen Reichen
(BWV11) is a heart-warming, uplifting work. Beginning and ending with two grand festive choruses, it is full of rhythmic swagger, jazz-like nonchalance, and stratospheric glitter for the high trumpet and vocal acrobatics for the choir. Gott Fahret auf mit Jauchzen
(BWV43) opens with a glorious, unconventional introduction with high trumpets and drums, and continues with a sequence reminiscent of the opera seria of its time. "Wer da glaubit und getauft wird"
(BWV37) focuses on the words of Jesus to his followers and starts with a gentle chorus of choir and orchestra of strings and oboe d amore. "Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein"
(BWV128) features festive opening and closing movements celebrating Christ s majesty.
Contains a 32 pages booklet with original notes by Sir John Eliot Gardiner
, and sung texts in German and English.
Best of all are the ebullient choruses that bookend the Orartorio, exhibiting Gardiner's innate Bachian flair, and bringing to an end a celebratory journey that's ultimately uplifting. Performance **** Recording ***** --BBC Music Magazine, July'13
Gardiner's performances show the ready familiarity with the music you would expect. His thoughtful approach to detail really shows itself in the choruses, perhaps above all in the Chorales, each of which finds its own expressive solutions. no-one completing their Cantata cycle with this single disc need feel short changed. --Gramophone, July'13
An uplifting and inspirational experience. --IRR, Sept'13